Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week 8: Ragnar SoCal Race Recap

Can we talk about how time isn't obeying any kind of normal metric and is instead flying past in complete disarray? ...okay, that's a bit dramatic; but really, time is on the move and training days are zooming along. So without further ado, I would like to share my 2014 Ragnar SoCal race recap:

What is Ragnar SoCal? I'm glad you asked! Our race covered 195 miles, beginning in Huntington Beach and ending at the convention center in downtown San Diego. My lovely team included 11 other crazy runners, with each of us taking on 3 legs of the 36 leg race. The race is basically structured like a batting order: once you run your leg, everyone else on the team has to run one of theirs before you start over. Essentially, we ran in order 1 - 12 three times in a row.

I was runner #3 (and therefore runner #15 and #27) for our team, afterNUUN run. As a proud member of Van 1, I joined the likes of Keith, Kristina, Chris, Wes, and Erin -- some of the most badass runners around -- for a 26+ hour adventure in a mini-van. The second half of our team, cozily jammed into Van 2, was comprised of Alisyn, Matt, Meg, Bruce, Miriam, and Paulette -- each of which are even more impressive, hilarious, and fit than even their Strava accounts and blogs allude to.

There is enough adventure packed into this nearly 200 mile, 2 hours of sleep, half marathon or more running per person extravaganza to fill a novel, so I'm going to spare you the gory details and go into a photo montage with minimal commentary instead:

Van 1 LOVE! The gang showing off our Ragnar race tees, Zensah calf sleeves, and Nuun bottles

One more for good measure to get a shot with our SF Marathon swag
Off I go on Leg #3 of the relay
Leg 3, apparently serious business
Flying Picture
Handoff to Wes at the end of Leg 3
My Legs:

Leg #3 -- Approximately 6.8 miles at 7:28 pace. This was the nitty gritty part of the race for me. Since we were on the late end of the start time slots, I only saw a handful of other runners during this leg. It was a concrete-jungle kind of hot, and my times were so much slower than they would have otherwise been because I hit 7 or 8 stop lights during my trek. [Since Ragnar is a huge race, none of the roads are blocked off. Runners are on sidewalks, shoulders, and bike lanes like any training run. The only problem there is that I couldn't stop my Garmin at the lights because we were still on the clock! Crampin' my race speed style, Ragnar]. I ended my leg with 4 "kills".

Ragnar Lingo: kills = people you pass during your leg

Leg #15 -- Approximately 3.5 miles at 6:54 pace. This was such a fun run! My leg started just before 1:30 AM in the misty cold of the marina and led us down onto a paved bike path through the marshy wetlands. No street lamps. No emergency lights. Just my headlamp, reflective vest, and a blinking LED light on the back of my vest to light my way as I huffed and puffed on the narrow, dark path. This also meant that my fellow racers were only visible by their LED backlights, so in the delirium of essentially a 1:30 AM 5K race, I became fixated on chasing down the only lights I could find. It was exhilarating! I ended at Exchange 15 with 10 kills.

Leg #27 -- Approximately 3.5 miles at 6:56 pace. Beginning right around 8:15 AM, I was starting to feel the fatigue of being in "race mode" for so many hours, but was thrilled that we were swiftly approaching the San Diego area. I had a STELLAR coastal run with a net downhill route and was able to make some serious leeway on tracking down kills. I ended this leg with 36 kills (and finished out my portion of the race having zero people pass me!). 


Total Distance: ~13.8 miles
Average Pace: ~ 7:16 min/mile

Waiting for Wes at Angles Stadium (Exchange 4)
Ninja times tagging vans with The SF Marathon magnets 
Carrying our fearless leader, Chris (I ran with him like that, too)
Van 1 LOVE (again, still, always) 
Cheers to The SF Marathon for bringing us together!
The greatest finish line photo of all time :)


Not only did I get to spend an absolutely incredible weekend getting to know some stunningly inspiring humans, but we also kicked some major tail in the final shakeout.

Regular Mixed Open: 8th Place out of 510 teams
Overall (all divisions): 24th Place out of 720 teams

The Regular Mixed Open division was comprised of all co-ed teams (a co-ed team is designated by the 12-person squad having at least 6 women) -- we had 7 on our team.

The Overall Division took the all-male, all-female, regular mixed open, ultra, and veteran teams together to get final overall results.


And of course the weekend would not have been possible at all if not for our super supportive and enthusiastic sponsors!

I loved racing in my bright pink and neon yellow Skechers Performance GoRun3s! What a fun and comfortable pair of shoes. They were ultra-light, and encouraged the mid-foot stride that I prefer:  http://skechersperformance.com/ #GoLikeNeverBefore

Our Gametiime shirts were a great way to promote this utilitarian, and user friendly interface site. It's function is to find you the next great race in your desired area, but Gametiime provides so much more; you can set your calendar, connect with friends, and get updates about upcoming races you're registered for. Check them out at: http://gametiime.com/ #Gametiime

As an official foot-abuser, I am always looking for a comfy, but breathable pair of running socks. After running one race in a pair of FitSoks, I'm a convert! These are plushy, form fitting, and they don't slip, fall, or rub while you're in hot pursuit of those kills. Find your fit at: http://www.fitsok.com/ #FitSok

We owe so much to The SF Marathon! Our team of running conisseaurs would never have assembled if not for The SF Marathon Ambassador team. I'm so grateful to represent the most beautiful road marathon on the West Coast (and pretty much on the whole planet). For $10 off your registration for the full marathon, half marathon, or 5k race, use Ragnar code: DSC10RAGNAR2014. http://www.thesfmarathon.com/ #TSFM2014

With compression apparel being all the rage with runners these days, you can count on Zensah to have a fit and style that you really love. These were so helpful during the off-times of the race to allow our calves to recharge. Visit them at: http://www.zensah.com/ #Zensah

And last but absolutely not least, for optimal hydration, no matter the activity, Nuun has got you covered. I was a bit reluctuant to dive into electrolyte replacements, but Nuun changed my mind entirely. What a stellar product! Get yours at: http://www.nuun.com/ #NuunLove

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